This week I did not record a meditation. I opted to offer a walking meditation where you can guide/lead yourself.
It’s not always easy to meditate in a seated position. Furthermore, the awareness that we develop while seated, must someday be carried off the meditation cushion or chair into every aspect of our lives, if it’s to be effective in creating positive change.
By doing simple activities, such as walking, with mindfulness, we can begin to integrate our practice of stillness into moments of movement.
Mindful movement helps us deepen awareness of the body itself, where the body is in space, and how the body is connected to the earth and the elements around us.
The forward movement of mindful walking can also be very soothing for a mind that’s addicted to forward movement even when we are sitting.
Meditating while seated can highlight the ever-present movement of our mind. It’s possible that meditating while moving can do just the opposite, and show us where stillness is present.
The following is a simple introduction to walking meditation.
If it’s safe to do so, remove your shoes to deepen awareness of each step, and to experience the connection between your body and the ground.
Walking Meditation for Body Awareness
Find an open, quiet space in which you can move around comfortably without distractions (inside or outside)
Choose to follow a particular path, or set a timer
Close your eyes and ponder for a few moments just standing
Notice the connection between your feet and the earth
Open your eyes, with your gaze soft and aimed at the ground ahead of you
Very slowly, begin to walk forward
Maintain awareness of each part of the process of walking
Shifting weight, lifting the foot, moving forward, placing the foot, pressing down
Stay focused on the feet, and the process of moving the feet forward
Stay present with body awareness until your path is complete, or the time is up
Mindfulness Worksheet - Walking Meditation
Use the prompts below to reflect and journal about your experience.
What Did You Notice?
Describe your experience in general
What did it feel like to connect to the body while standing still with eyes closed?
As you opened your eyes again, what changed?
As you began to move from standing to walking, what changed?
As you focused more intently on the movement of the body, how did that change the way you moved?
What is the difference between lifting the foot, and awareness of lifting the foot?
How does the intention to lift the foot play a role in lifting the foot?
At what point does lifting the foot end, and placing the foot begin?
Are there moments of stillness within the activity of walking? What were they?
Did you find that physically moving forward helped the mind remain focused?
What was the most challenging part of the meditation?
Name one thing you noticed that you didn’t before
If you can stay mindful while walking, where else might you apply steady mindfulness as you move throughout your day?
When we apply mindfulness, even a routine activity as simple as walking offers us endless insight into the body, the mind, and the nature of reality itself.
On a gross level, the forward momentum of walking is soothing for the mind. At a more detailed level, by intentionally placing a calm, spacious mind on the process of walking, we become aware of much more than the movement itself.
We learn to break down what we initially perceive as one thing into many things. We experience process and impermanence with the rise and fall of each step of the foot. We become aware of the interplay between form and space. The mind becomes more self-aware as we watch ourselves watching each step of the process.
This weeks meditation goes hand in hand with the class theme for this week.
Svadyhaya~the fourth Niyama which means Self~Study.
Meet me on the Mat this week as we learn Self~Observation without Judgement. You can register for any class by clicking here.
Single class drop~in rates and multi class passes are available. All classes are live~stream via zoom. I can see you and you can see me and all the other participants. Class is open 15 minutes before and as long after class as needed for connection and communication. If you've been missing yoga class and haven't tried a zoom class yet, let this be the week you do. Email me with any questions about the class schedule, zoom, just to say "hi", or to let me know how I can help to support your yoga journey at: firstname.lastname@example.org. I hope to see you soon.
Until the next time,